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Mine were a lingering death without pain,
A death which all might love to see,
And mark how bright and sweet should be

The victory I should gain!

"Fain would I catch a hymn of love
From the angel-harps which ring above:
And sing it as my parting breath
Quivertl and expired in death—
So that those on earth might hear
The harp-notes of another sphere,
And mark, when nature faints and dies,
What springs of heavenly life arise,
And gather from the death they view
A ray of hope to light them through,
When they shall be departing too."

"No," said another, "so not I,
Sudden as thought is the death I would die;
I would suddenly lay my shackles by,
Nor bear a single pang at parting,
Nor see the tear of sorrow starting,
Nor hear the quivering lips that bless me,
Nor feel the hands of love that press me,
Nor the frame with mortal terror quaking,
Nor the heart where love's soft bands are breaking-
So would I die!
All bliss, without a pang to cloud it!
All joy, without a pain to shroud it!
Not slain, but caught up, as it were,
To meet the Saviour in the air!
So would I die!

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O, how bright

Were the realms of light,

Bursting at once upon my sight!

Even so

I long to go,

These passing hours how sad and slow!"

His voice grew faint, and fix'd was his eye,
As if gazing on visions of ecstasy:
The hue of his cheek and lip deca/d,
Around his mouth a sweet smile play'd;—

They lookM—he was dead!

His spirit was fled:
Painless and swift as his own desire,

The soul undress'd

From her mortal rest
And stepp'd in her car of heavenly fire;

And proved how bright

Were the realms of light,

Bursting at once upon the sight

James Edmeston

cxxxv
A DEATH SCENE

Dying, still slowly dying,

As the hours of night rode by,
She had lain since the light of sunset

Was red on the evening sky:
Till after the middle watches,

As we softly near her trod,
When her soul from its prison fetters

Was loosed by the hand of God.

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One moment her pale lips trembled

With the triumph she might not tell,
As the sight of the life immortal

On her spirit's vision fell;
Then the look of rapture faded,

And the beautiful smile was faint,
As that, in some convent picture,

On the face of a dying saint.

And we felt in the lonesome midnight,

As we sat by the silent dead,
What a light on the path going downward

The feet of the righteous shed.
Then we thought how, with faith unshrinking,

She came to the Jordan's tide,
And, taking the hand of the Saviour,

Went up on the heavenly side.

Phoebe Carey

cxxxvi THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL

Vital spark of heavenly flame!

Quit, O quit this mortal frame:

Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,

O, the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; Angels say,

Sister spirit, come away.

What is this absorbs me quite?

Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes, it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears

With sounds seraphic ring:
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?

O death! where is thy sting?

A. Pope

cxxxvn THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS

There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,

And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

"Shall I have nought that is fair?" saith he;

"Have nought but the bearded grain? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back again."

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,

He kiss'd their drooping leaves, It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

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"My Lord has need of these flow'rets gay,"

The Reaper said, and smiled; "Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where He was once a child.

"They shall all bloom in fields of light,

Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again

In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The Reaper came that day;
'Twas an angel visited the green earth,

And took the flowers away.

H. W. Longfellow

CXXXVIII

ON THE DEA TH OF A FAIR INFANT

O, fairest flower! no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading tunelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou had'st outlasted
Bleak winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he, being amorous of that lovely dye
That did thy cheek envermeil, sought to kiss,
ut kill'd, alas! and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.

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